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[dahy-uh-trahyb] /ˈdaɪ əˌtraɪb/
a bitter, sharply abusive denunciation, attack, or criticism:
repeated diatribes against the senator.
Origin of diatribe
1575-85; < Latin diatriba < Greek diatribḗ pastime, study, discourse, derivative of diatríbein to rub away (dia- dia- + tríbein to rub)
tirade, harangue. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for diatribe
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Seyd concluded a diatribe on the Mexican mozo in general while they were dressing.

    The Mystery of The Barranca Herman Whitaker
  • Oh, whats the use, said Tom at length, interrupting a diatribe.

  • It taxed her patience to the utmost to sit through the daily diatribe against Sir Michael Cunningham, her hero of heroes.

    We Two Edna Lyall
  • This diatribe he concluded thus: ‘You know we owe England nothing.’

    Theodore Watts-Dunton James Douglas
  • Another indulged in a diatribe against wet nurses; she could no longer find one who was honest.

    A Love Episode Emile Zola
British Dictionary definitions for diatribe


a bitter or violent criticism or attack; denunciation
Word Origin
C16: from Latin diatriba learned debate, from Greek diatribē discourse, pastime, from diatribein to while away, from dia- + tribein to rub
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for diatribe

1640s (in Latin form in English from 1580s), "discourse, critical dissertation," from French diatribe (15c.), from Latin diatriba "learned discussion," from Greek diatribe "employment, study," in Plato, "discourse," literally "a wearing away (of time)," from dia- "away" (see dia-) + tribein "to wear, rub," from PIE root *ter- "to rub, turn, twist" (see throw). Sense of "invective" is 1804, apparently from French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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